Gifting your way into first class on United

Missed Approach

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I have an upcoming vacation to Asia and a round trip out of SFO in economy is a reasonable $82. Since UA upped the amount they charge for employees to upgrade to first/business class, they want over $800 for the trip if I upgrade.

Has anyone had luck giving the purser some gifts for the crew that resulted in a free upgrade? Anything else that typically works to get an upgrade on the cheap?
 

charlie2

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$82? Did you forget a few digits? I think if you call them "pursers" to their face that wil give you an immediate upgrade either that or give them $800 and maybe you'll get a middle seat.
 

wms

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And we wonder how this became such a bottom- feeder industry.
 

DUBLINFLYER

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pay thr $800 it is still very cheap, look at the actual fare the normal people have to pay - don't be greedy
 

Full of LUV

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I have an upcoming vacation to Asia and a round trip out of SFO in economy is a reasonable $82. Since UA upped the amount they charge for employees to upgrade to first/business class, they want over $800 for the trip if I upgrade.

Has anyone had luck giving the purser some gifts for the crew that resulted in a free upgrade? Anything else that typically works to get an upgrade on the cheap?
Question: Is the $82 just the taxes that are charged, so otherwise free?
 

Ky.BrownBourbn

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Jimmy, the "a", says "don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to "work off" that upgrade!" that flight's like 10 or 12 hours? Bring the chap stick!

KBB
 

nimtz

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I have an upcoming vacation to Asia and a round trip out of SFO in economy is a reasonable $82. Since UA upped the amount they charge for employees to upgrade to first/business class, they want over $800 for the trip if I upgrade.

Has anyone had luck giving the purser some gifts for the crew that resulted in a free upgrade? Anything else that typically works to get an upgrade on the cheap?
Please gift the purser! We all await the results of your experiment!
 

Varmint

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A couple boxes of depends, some moth balls, a gift certificate for jenny craig, and a pack of support hose ought to do it.
 

sfomarc

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I went to Asia a few month ago, off season, and first and business were full on every leg on every flight. If you can buy 1st for 800 I would jump on it.
 

mayoplane

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I do it all the time. (seven or eight round trips a year) I simply 'jumpseat' international provided that they have seats in the back. Buy about $30 worth of cookies and chocolates at duty free, give them to the purser and thank him/her for the ride. Try to go on the flights thats not full in the front. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt. Still, traveling internationally for $30 is a good deal. If you are traveling alone, its easier.
 

SLUF4

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nonrevs have to pay to upgrade to first on united?
 

SkeWest

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nonrevs have to pay to upgrade to first on united?

They do unless they are on a vacation pass, and then it's free. I can't imagine any employee paying to upgrade when they can use a vacation pass, especially to Asia. That said, it's in our FOM that jumpseaters can sit in any class the Captain puts them in, assuming there are seats of course. If there are open seats in 1st, take a jumpseat and give the gifts to the pilots and f/a's.
 

Andy

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They do unless they are on a vacation pass, and then it's free. I can't imagine any employee paying to upgrade when they can use a vacation pass, especially to Asia. That said, it's in our FOM that jumpseaters can sit in any class the Captain puts them in, assuming there are seats of course. If there are open seats in 1st, take a jumpseat and give the gifts to the pilots and f/a's.
Three points of order:
1) Vacation passes are for mainline employees; the OP likely works for an express carrier with pass privileges on UAL. Their pass charges vary by carrier.

2) You're not supposed to drink alcohol while jumpseating. I like a couple of drinks on a long flight.

3) You can list as SA9 in F if you don't want to use a vacation pass. That's fee waived travel; no need to jumpseat. I think you have to pay some departure/arrival/customs fees whether you jumpseat or SA9 so it's the same price.
I sometimes list SA9 for my commute in delusional hopes of getting a seat in F. No luck to date.



I haven't looked at loads to/from Asia for a while but I'd be shocked if there were any nonrev seats in F or C. More likely to get a middle seat in E- as a nonrev. I've only seen a few small timeframes annually where there were a decent number of available seats.
 

BuckMurdock1

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2) You're not supposed to drink alcohol while jumpseating. I like a couple of drinks on a long flight.
That was my first thought on that tactic, too. When you're back there in first calss for 10+ hrs and inflight is offering you delicious alcohol, it's easy to slip up and forget that you're "jumpseating"..and unfortunately an easy way to end your career.
 

SWA Bubba

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That was my first thought on that tactic, too. When you're back there in first calss for 10+ hrs and inflight is offering you delicious alcohol, it's easy to slip up and forget that you're "jumpseating"..and unfortunately an easy way to end your career.
I suppose it also depends on what your carrier defines as jumpseating. I "jumpseated" on AA to Europe last year, and they gave me a boarding pass for some seat way in the back. My girlfriend (a FA) used a ZED pass, since AA only allows JS privileges to FAs domestically. She got a boarding pass for the seat next to me in the back. The Captain and FAs then put us up in first class since there were empty seats. The first class attendants insisted that I could drink alcohol, despite "jumpseating," since: 1. I was issued a boarding pass instead of a JS document, and 2. I was not listed on the crew manifest. In AA's eyes, in that case, using my "jumpseat" privileges was basically only a easier (and cheaper) way to non-rev. In fact, the only person who even KNEW I was "jumpseating" in the first place, was the ticket counter lady at JFK. And she just used that as the basis for not charging me a ZED fare to non-rev. I filled out no paperwork, just showed my badge instead of handing over a ZED pass like my girlfriend did. No one on the plane had any idea, seeing as how I boarded with a boarding pass like everyone else.

At Southwest, if a pilot flies using a jumpseat document, then he or she can't drink, even if seated in the back. If they fly seated in the back using only a boarding pass, no one on the plane would know or care if they had a drink.

The way the rules are written, it's kinda' gray, but this seems to be the way it's often interpreted.

Bubba
 

Ex737Driver

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That was my first thought on that tactic, too. When you're back there in first calss for 10+ hrs and inflight is offering you delicious alcohol, it's easy to slip up and forget that you're "jumpseating"..and unfortunately an easy way to end your career.


How so?
 

xkuzme1

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I have always been under the impression that once you are offered a seat not n the flight deck, then you are no longer jumpseating... You have been seated.

That was TWA's rule. Maybe thats where I am getting that.

X
 
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